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Delaware's Advanced Language Pathway for Post-AP Language Study
Delaware’s Bridge Program offers an advanced language pathway for high school students who have scored at least a 4 in the AP language and culture (or literature) exam. Students have the opportunity to complete one to three Bridge courses while in high school earning both high school and university credit. A student who completes three Bridge courses will graduate from high school with nine upper division college credits that count towards a major or minor in the language of study. The Delaware World Language Expansion Initiative facilitates infrastructure and provides ongoing funding for this critical continuation of Delaware’s ambitious Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Program.
Since 2011, Delaware’s K-12 DLI Program includes two languages: Chinese and Spanish, in 41 schools reaching more than 5,000 students. DLI students aim to take the AP Language and Culture exam at the end of 9th grade; the Bridge Program is designed to ‘bridge’ the gap between completion of the exam and the start of higher education. It ensures uninterrupted language education and promotes an articulated vision for K-16 language study, establishing a clear K-16 pathway as well as a career pathway in two languages. Delaware’s Bridge Program’s inaugural year will be 2021, with the University of Delaware is delivering 4 courses (2 in Spanish and 2 in Chinese).
The Bridge Program is a unique partnership between the University of Delaware and school districts with DLI programs. Each Bridge course is developed by a statewide team of university and high school instructors and delivered during a full academic year by high school teachers who meet UD’s eligibility standards. Through challenging and sophisticated approaches to language learning, Bridge courses will focus on developing critical thinking skills and advancing students’ language proficiency towards state grade level targets. The courses will further the state goal of graduating students from high school with language proficiency levels more typical of students completing a language major in college.
The Bridge Program meets the need for a secondary pathway for DLI students, but its impact goes beyond this. Enrollment in Bridge courses is open to any student who scores a 4 or higher in the requisite AP Language and Culture (or Literature) exam, thus broadening its reach to heritage speakers and other students who pass the exam at any point prior to their final year of high school. The Bridge Program promotes equity and access to bilingual and bicultural citizenship in Delaware by offering rigorous, upper division university language and culture courses to any qualified student in designated high schools as determined by each district.
Delaware’s Bridge Program is administered by the University of Delaware’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures: www.dllc.udel.edu.
Delaware Bridge Program Fidelity Assessment
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